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IBM Fighting Google on Business Email

IBM's trying a simple tactic to outwit Google's business software plans by selling its professional package for a third less in price. For fewer dollars you also get a less capable service, but IBM's confident that many customers will choose Big Blue.

lotus-liveIBM's package is called LotusLive iNotes, and it'll cost you $36 per year per worker versus Google's $50 fee. But while Google offers 25GB of storage space and a full business software suite for that price, IBM includes just 1GB and that's it—essentially making iNotes the cheaper barest-bones system.

Why would IBM think it can undercut the mighty Google and achieve a bigger market share? It's due to its larger sales force, and the inertia from its decades of big-business ties. It's also a brand that carries a degree of trust and solidity, whereas Google's public image is youthful and exuberant, and the company hasn't yet earned a reputation for serious reliability—an important fact when it's absolutely vital to have a reliable email solution in a business setting.

It's almost certainly bad news for Google, or at least news that'll get the company's business planners deep in thought. Remember that Microsoft is also transferring its Office suite of business productivity apps into the cloud—and making some basic services available for free—which means that Google's effectively facing a dual-front assault on its ambitions to become a bigger player in the corporate cloud services market. There's also the new giant Apple data center to think about—no-one's yet worked out exactly what its for. Apple also offers a strong business productivity suite in iWork, and with the iPhone tied to MobileMe (and now offering enhanced Microsoft exchange support) Apple's business ambitions could be about to expand.

[via GoogleNews]

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  • Kit Eaton

    @Steve. Hmm.... Google founded in 1998, IBM became IBM "proper" in 1924...but has history from 1896. Which one's youthful, and exuberantly leading the internet forward, and which one's long-established? Inertia is a resistance to velocity change--momentum's properly a conserved quantity of a body in motion. Both get appropriated to talking about non-Physics qualities. And yes, businesses often demonstrate a resistance to change their long-held habits. And Google may have high reliability, but is it perceived as such?

  • Steve Martin

    Ugh. Where to begin? Fast Company needs to slow down and edit.
    "The inertia from its decades of big-business ties"? Kit, you may want to buy a dictionary.
    You probably meant momentum, but I have no idea what you mean when you reference "trust and solidity" in the IBM brand, nor where you got "youthful exuberance" from Google public image.

    As for your argument that Google has yet to earn a reputation for "serious reliability", what would you call gmail? What would you call billions of searches each month? What would you call 98% uptime over the last five years?

  • Chad Eaves

    Not a bad idea bringing this service out, but sounds like the execution again is failing before it starts. IBM's product does not sound that much better, and it offers less storage (by a lot). And the name seems a poor choice to me. But this is the company that renamed its products a while back, causing mass confusion in its markets.

    In my humble opinion, I don't see this being successful. IBM should have created a new brand.

  • Terrance TY

    What I think is IBM target to some of the corporation that required high end business email solution, while Google is target middle end, which generally is small and medium business. They required reliable of email solution, but the requirements is not as high as big corporation.

    Digital Photo Frame consultant.